Are you looking for something that requires no equipment that will build a powerful chest, a stronger core, and more defined arms? Push-ups are a staple exercise in any body weight workout which includes military and police training protocols.
Maintaining intensity and properly progressing are crucial to making gains, so why not create a new variation of a workout? This doesn’t mean you need to replace exercises with balance ball squats, but you could use another push-up variation to challenge yourself.
Not been implementing push-ups? That’s okay, follow this guide to push your workouts to the next level. May your presses be mighty and your chest burn.
1. Regular Push-Ups
Out of all of these variations, regular push-ups are going to be the most familiar.
Start in a high plank position with your hands about shoulder-width apart. Keeping a tight and straight core, slowly lower your body until your chest hits the floor and push yourself back up.
Since this is your warm-up, perform 2 sets of 10. Don’t worry, if you have a hard time with these, you can only get stronger from here.
2.- Clapping Push-Ups
Clapping push-ups are the power move of push-ups. Using the same form and technique as regular push-ups, you should explode up from the floor so that you can quickly clap your hands together at the end of your rep.
These are relatively easy once you learn the technique. If you are having trouble with this variation, try to do them on your knees to give yourself a bit of a better leverage.
Perform 3 sets of 10.
3. Wide Grip Push-Ups
Wide grip push-ups are great for placing more stress on the chest.
They are performed the same way as a regular push-up, except you want to place your hands at about 1.5 times the width of your shoulders. The wider you can go, the better. Try different placements so you can find what works best for you and allows you to safely complete this exercise.
Since you are putting more stress on the chest, you are removing part of the movement your triceps would be dealing with.
Perform 3 sets of 12.
Check out the other three push up variations on the next page…
4. Narrow Grip Push-Ups
Narrow grip push-ups are the opposite of wide grip push ups. Narrow grip requires hand placement that is closer together so that the triceps take most of the work.
Start with your hands just inside of your shoulders. As you get stronger with this workout, you’ll be able to make a diamond shape with your hands and still complete push-ups.
Perform 4 sets of 8.
5. Decline Push-Ups
Decline push-ups are a great way to hit your upper chest and shoulders without needing any equipment.
Finding a sturdy elevated platform, place your feet up on the platform and perform your reps.
Perform 2 sets of 20.
6. Incline Push-Ups
Incline push-ups are great for your lower chest and also a great way for someone who has troubles completing push-ups.
Using an elevated platform, place your hands on the platform and perform push-ups. The higher/more vertical you are, the easier the rep. Find a happy medium and get to pressing.
Perform 4 sets of 20.
If you’ve never done a burnout set, here’s your chance.
Pick the push-up variation that you found to be the most difficult and perform as many reps as you can. When you have to take a break, rest for 30 seconds and go at it again.
The trick here is to make it impossible for you to get off of the floor, so get to pressing. This will ensure maximum strength and muscle growth.
Feeling like these are easy? Check out this video of some extreme pushups:
- If you cannot complete push-ups easily, try them on your knees or perform most of the variations in an incline position.
- For decline push-ups, placing your knees on the elevated platform will allow you to do push-ups easier.
- Push-ups should not hurt. If you have bindings in your shoulders, adjust your hands and practice good form.
- If body weight push-ups are too easy, try a weighted vest.